Evaluating the influence of federal prescribed fire regimes in east Texas on white-tailed deer body condition and antler sizeThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The physiological impacts of Federal prescribed burn regimes on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) body weight and antler size was investigated in east Texas National Forests. Burn history was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. Many State wildlife management areas overlapped the National Forest boundaries; therefore, the burn histories were used in combination with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department deer harvest records to investigate the relationships between white-tailed deer physical attributes and prescribed fire. Deer antler beam and inside mean spread were significantly greater at 2 years post-burn than at less than 1 year post-burn. These results indicate that frequent prescribed fire is physiologically beneficial to white-tailed deer.